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Wright-Phillips hat trick rescues Red Bulls against DC

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Josef Martinez’s historic season in Major League Soccer has dominated the headlines, but Bradley Wright-Phillips continues to come up in big moments for his side.

The New York Red Bulls earned a 3-3 draw against D.C. United on Sunday at Audi Field behind Wright-Phillips’ hat-trick.

Despite trailing on three separate occasions, Wright-Phillips and his side answered accordingly to pick up a point and deny their Eastern Conference rivals a crucial victory.

Paul Arriola opened the scoring for D.C. in the 25th minute, before Wright-Phillips equalized four minutes before halftime.

D.C. restored their advantage through Wayne Rooney and Luciano Acosta in the second stanza, however, it wasn’t enough for the visitors to gain all three points and close the gap on the Montreal Impact for the sixth playoff spot in the East.

Villa free kick rescues point for NYCFC against DC United

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New York City FC hadn’t lost a home match heading into this week, and thanks to David Villa the club avoided a second straight defeat at Yankee Stadium.

[ MORE: American youth Will Vint joins Atlanta United academy ]

New York City FC and D.C. United finished level, 1-1, on Saturday after the Spanish international scored a brilliant free kick late in the match to level the game.

Steve Birnbaum’s second-half header past goalkeeper Sean Johnson from close range had given D.C. the lead in the 58th minute, but Villa finally broke through after many missed opportunities prior to that for NYCFC.

Both teams were missing several key pieces in their lineups, particularly NYCFC, who saw nine players sidelined due to injuries, suspensions and international call ups.

D.C. fielded a team of just 15 players on the day, while NYCFC had six substitutions available on the rainy day.

NYCFC extended its winless streak to seven of its last eight matches, however, Villa’s heroics did secure a point for the hosts.

Domenec Torrent’s team boasting an overwhelming 19 shots on the day, however, the club’s scoring struggles continued during their losing skid.

For D.C., the club sits five points out of the East playoffs with eight matches remaining.

Kaku blast guides Red Bulls past DC United

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Harrison, NJ — Alejandro “Kaku” Gamarra’s fourth goal of the season propelled the New York Red Bulls to their 16th win of the season on Sunday, as the hosts dispatched of their I-95 rivals, D.C. United, for the second time in 2018.

By virtue of the victory, the Red Bulls captured the Atlantic Cup for the ninth time in storied rivalry against D.C. United.

Despite a flurry of chances in the opening 45 minutes, including a Wayne Rooney attempt that struck the crossbar, the Red Bulls pulled ahead in the 56th minute when Kaku gathered the ball at the top of the penalty area and blasted a left-footed effort into the far corner beyond goalkeeper Bill Hamid.

Rooney boasted several quality chances on the night for the visitors, including a free kick that forced a tough save out of Luis Robles in the ninth minute.

The Red Bulls nearly made DC pay just two minutes after, when Derrick Etienne Jr. led a counterattack for Chris Armas’ side, which ended with a Daniel Royer shot that skied over the crossbar.

DC’s best chance of the opening 45 minutes though may have come in the 24th minute, when Oneil Fisher’s point-blank header sailed over the bar, following a cross from Yamil Asad.

The former Atlanta United attacker was lively in the first half for DC, however, a strong tackle from Kemar Lawrence towards the latter stages of the half forced Asad out in the 47th minute.

The two clubs will meet one more time in the regular season on September 16 down at Audi Field in the nation’s capital.

MLS Live: Red Bulls host Rooney, DC; Timbers-Sounders battle

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Two of Major League Soccer’s biggest and oldest rivalries resume on Sunday as Rivalry Week comes to a conclusion.

 [ LIVE: MLS scores ]

The New York Red Bulls are coming off of a thrilling (and probably disappointing) 1-1 draw to New York City FC on Wednesday night, but will have to remove thoughts of that game as D.C. United arrive at Red Bull Arena.

[ MORE: TFC rolls over Impact, RSL puts six on 9-man Rapids ]

D.C. has emerged as a contender in the Eastern Conference playoff race since the arrival of Wayne Rooney, and Ben Olsen’s attack has quickly become one of the most deadly in MLS with Luciano Acosta, Yamil Asad and Rooney leading the way.

Rooney and Co. enter the weekend unbeaten in their last five matches, including four victories in that span, making the playoffs a much more realistic goal after the team’s early-season struggles.

For the Red Bulls, they enter the match unbeaten in their last four, however, Wednesday’s draw against NYCFC was a chance wasted by Chris Armas’ group after playing up a man (and eventually two men) against their bitter rivals.

Nonetheless, the Harrison side remains in solid standing in the Eastern Conference, just four points behind leaders Atlanta United and a game in hand over the first-place side.

Following the Atlantic Cup affair, a classic Cascadia battle resumes as the Portland Timbers host the Seattle Sounders, who have once again found a way to get hot at the right time.

The Sounders have been the best team in MLS since July 1, winning seven of their nine matches and going unbeaten during that span.

[ MORE: All of PST’s MLS coverage ] 

Despite that fact, Seattle sits two points out of the West playoffs, but a victory Sunday night would propel the 2016 MLS Cup champions above the red line.

The Timbers, on the other hand, have cooled off significantly as of late with three consecutive losses. In that span, the club has scored just two goals, which falls well below the team’s production from earlier in the season.

Sunday MLS schedule

New York Red Bulls vs. D.C. United — 7 pm ET
Portland Timbers vs. Seattle Sounders — 9 pm ET

Rooney bags two more, including free kick (video)

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Wazza has done it again.

The 32-year-old DC United forward scored for his MLS side against the Portland Timbers, days after producing¬†the¬†tackle/cross heard ’round¬†the world (or at least England and MLS).

Rooney’s perfect run met a terrific ball from Yamil Asad and restored a deadlock between¬†the¬†two sides.

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And¬†this one, well, it doesn’t need much explanation (except¬†to ask if¬†the walls and goalkeeping in MLS are¬†that substandard?